Tim Kendall and Bill Barth bought ‘The Crossroads’ bar in Clarksdale under the impression that there was some kind of tourist industry in the Delta. In the second installment of this series, Kendall explains the nature of the Mississippi tourist industry–which did not include the entire Mississippi Delta, let alone Clarksdale.
This article is the first in a series by Tim Kendall, a blues enthusiast and photographer from the United Kingdom, who, along with musician Bill Barth in the 1990s, purchased “The Crossroads” bar in Clarksdale, Mississippi from Mt. Zion Memorial Fund founder Raymond “Skip” Henderson.
In this republished ProPublica article, Seth Freed Wessler explains that, despite layers of federal and state regulations nominally intended to protect culturally significant sites, the expansion of a Microsoft data center inspired authorities in Virginia to desecrate a historic cemetery.
Shannon Evans details the similarities between plantation tourism and blues tourism, both of which employ similar mechanisms of erasure, nostalgia, and mythology. By relying on romanticized narratives that align with the expectations of white tourists, both blues and plantation tourism are detached from the historical realities of the African American experience.